One of the major features of the recent downturn has been the amount of time and effort put into managing redundancies. The recent news from steel manufacturer Corus shows just how devastating a blow it can be on morale.
Many firms have provided outplacement services and redundancy counselling to try and ensure that the impact on those affected is minimised. This is laudable but what many organisations fail to recognise is the impact on those who remain – the ‘unhappy stayers’.
Read on for some top motivating tips:
Safeway, the retailer paid special attention to keeping staff happy during a year of uncertainty as Morrison’s closed in by:
* Raising investment in training in answer to more requests, seeing personal development as its best compensation for inability to promise long-term job security
* Stepping up outplacement help for those who wanted to leave - but used resultant openings to fast-track promotion and job enrichment for others, assisted by the extra training
* Lining up independent financial advice, for stayers and leavers, recognising money as a top worry
* Being forward-looking about skills. Career change programmes helped people confront their uncertain future: a surer upholder for happiness than sheltering from it, allowing the firm to hold out for the best possible price from its prospective acquirer.
Though everyone differs in what cheers them up, and how this affects their performance, some spirit-lifting measures work with almost anyone:
* Give them a purpose: Set them a target that’s meaningful and attainable - but not too easily; they’ve got to believe the work is worth doing, and feel a sense of achievement in doing it as well as was expected.
* Avoid overwork and overstretch: Even if work is inherently fun, that gets destroyed if you do too much of it; and while it’s nice to be stretched, no-one likes being chronically stressed
* Involve them in task design: People doing a job are uniquely placed to see how it’s done best - and giving them a hand in its design strengthens their incentive to do it well
* Group them wisely: Team performance takes off when members buoy themselves up and spur themselves along; watch for pairings that stretch each other’s smiles, pull apart those that deepen the scowls
* Reward achievement Even a small, non-monetary reward for jobs done well can meet people’s need for recognition, bringing joy that can spark further work improvement
* Time flexibility, and time off: When asked what would make them happier, 33% of office staff cited a more flexible schedule; more autonomy, variety and a chance to work with others all got 17%
* Keep them moving forward though it’s tempting to let the ‘stars’ in a job keep on doing it, most will move out if they can’t eventually move up.
For more business insights, dip into the Bulletpoint archive or if you would like to register for access to the archive email us